That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. You have made me act like a fool—boasting like this. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all. When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!2 Corinthians 12:10-13
Paul has finally stopped the boasting. He has been on about the truth of what the Lord told him three times. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Hence Paul boasts about the things he has suffered. Take note of the amount of time or space Paul has given to this topic or hammered the theme. It is a significant percentage of what he has to say through out the letters to the Corinthians . When God says something 3 times then Paul takes it to heart and repeats it as well. When we were looking at the divisions among the Corinthians and then we contrasted that with the space given to the issue of incest we noted some interesting things. (See Bible Gem 342). I told you back then “The time that is given to certain topics in Scripture is very revealing. The space given to it is indicative of its importance.” There are a number of recurring issues or topics throughout 1 and 2 Corinthians. Can you list them? Go back and see what Paul has given time to. Determine what reoccurring words kept surfacing in the Corinthian letters. Remember I told you what the theme words of John and Romans were. Now it is time for you to do it for Corinthians.
When we speak to someone, write a letter, write a paper, there are words which re-occur naturally. These words become the theme or topic of conversation. Already in this Gem I have used the word topic and theme a number of times. I am focused on the theme words or topic words of the Corinthian letters and so I keep using the words “topic”, “theme” and “words”. You can count the number of times they occur and then rest assured that you know what Ian is on about. So take time to think about theme words or topics mentioned frequently in Corinthians. It is helpful for you to grasp the point of Corinthians. Once you know the theme words, the main point of a book sticks in your mind. Then you don’t need a to buy a book like Henrietta Mears’ “What the Bible is all about” because you know what the Bible is all about because you have read it over and over and over again.
The sad thing is having the Bible and not knowing what is all about. That indicates you either don’t read it very much or you are reading it wrongly. You know those times when you pick up a book, read it for a while and then realise you haven’t taken in what you have been reading. You can’t remember a single thing you have just read. So you have to go back and read it again. Do that now! Go back and look at Corinthians with theme words in mind. What has Paul been focused on the most? Find out. Now? Which book Ian? 1 Corinthians or 2 Corinthians? Both, I said Corinthians and didn’t specify the number. Combine them together.
If you see yourself as carrying God places, it can be exhausting. God is really heavy.Rob Bell
Put Him down and let Him carry you for a while, you will like the experience. Promise.Rob Bell
Being a Christian is not cutting yourself off from real life, it is entering into it more fully. It is a journey into the heart of how things really are.Rob Bell
If you study the Bible and it doesn’t lead you to wonder and awe then you haven’t studied the Bible.Rob Bell
I know I have used this one before, but a thing worth saying is worth saying again. It’s a theme.Ian Vail
What are you on about? Do you know your life theme?Ian Vail
Hint: A good life principle is to repeat what God repeats.Ian Vail
“If you know these things blessed are you if you do them” JesusJohn 13:17